The first thing most folks do upon entering a hotel room is pull aside the shades to check out the view. Photographer Gray Malin got lucky on a visit to Las Vegas–overlooking the pool from a top floor–and was so taken with the sight of sun worshippers from above that he decided to pursue a project capturing similar scenes across the globe. A La Plage, A La Piscine offers a new perspective on summertime.
The next stop for Malin after Sin City was Miami during Art Basel but unfortunately, there was no vacancy for the same kind of set-up. “So, I did the next best thing–rented a helicopter!” Malin tells Co.Design. From there, he was completely hooked (and who could blame him). Rio de Janeiro and Kauai soon followed, with additional North American and international locations sourced via Google searches. After sorting out the tricky logistics of finding a pilot in each spot who he could communicate with–sometimes through an interpreter–Malin would get all the shots he needed in about an hour of air time.
Oftentimes the trips themselves took place over the course of a short weekend jaunt, scheduled at the last minute due to the whims of the weather; an unexpectedly cloudy season in Sydney kept him at bay until the forecast finally called for sun, so he booked a ticket to fly out the very next day in order to catch the clear rays and corresponding crowds. The images themselves capture both busy beaches and almost deserted sands, reducing the people, chaises, and umbrellas below into striking graphic patterns. “The best part is the feeling that comes over me when I’m in the helicopter, watching my dreams come to life through the lens.” His dreams and everyone else’s, no doubt.